marathons marine corps marathon

Marine Corps Marathon – Training and Goals


Hot days are here.
And pretty soon, marathon training will be, too. (starts tomorrow, actually!)

I’m excited about doing the Marine Corps Marathon again. It’s such a fun event. So much energy. I also know a lot of people participating this year, which is cool.

Training will be tough though. I’m going with a training plan that’s slightly more challenging than the one I did last year — Hal Higon’s Intermediate 2.

Hal Higdon's Marathon Training Schedule - Intermediate 2
Hal Higdon’s Marathon Training Schedule – Intermediate 2
I considered doing Intermediate 1 instead 2, but the difference isn’t significant — just a little more mileage. I figure I’ll modify the plan as needed.

Last year, my only goal was to complete the marathon. That’s it. I didn’t aim to finish in a certain amount of time, or set out to run the entire thing (but I did! Well, I did, if you don’t hold waiting in line for the porta potties against me).

This year though, my goal is to run a sub 4:30 race. Oprah did it. She ran MCM in 1994 and finished in 4:29:15. With strong and consistent training, I figure I should be able to do it, too… I think.

If not, my back-up goal is to complete it in under 4:45. Actor Drew Carey ran the Marine Corps Marathon in 4:37:11 and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee completed it in 4:37:29.

And the back-up goal to the back-up (if there is such a thing) is to run a sub 5:00 race.

I think it’ll all come down to training and how much I’m able to push myself.

I kind of took it easy when I trained for MCM last year. I missed many weekday runs because it was too hot out after work, and I regularly skipped my cross-training days (instead they turned into rest days). Weekday runs and regular cross-training are areas I plan to improve on this time around.

I’m not sure if running a sub 4:30 race is a realistic goal for me. Doing so would mean I’d be running a half marathon around 2:15, which is about 10 minutes faster than my average half marathon time.

Realistic or not though, I’m going to go for it – and try to beat Oprah.


  1. Good for you for setting an ambitious goal through the summer. I am glad I don’t have to train in the heat. Dodging the mosquitoes and wind is enough for me. Is the MCM held in the Fall? I will be in the area in October.

    1. Thanks, Jen! 🙂 This humidity is insane. If I don’t acclimate to this weather soon, I may have to create a backup to the backup backup goal. Haha

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